Diane von Furstenberg wrote a lovely book titled The Woman I Wanted to Be, which gives readers a candid, insider’s look into the iconic fashion designer’s personal and professional life – successes and hardships alike. DVF’s attitude in dealing with adversity is the most admirable, and the book shows you so much more than just the woman of the wrap dresses… Her perspective, attitude, and joie de vivre is remarkable – undoubtedly one of the reasons DVF has lasted through all its different directions during her career. She poignantly reflects on her “failures,” using them as turning points to improve herself and once again be on an aspirational path, where she is working to become who she truly wants to be.
What really stuck with me is her attitude and relationship with failure and struggles in general. Once she realized that she was not becoming the woman she wanted to be, for whatever reason, she fully acknowledged and accepted herself in that state. SHE ACCEPTS HERSELF. AS SHE IS, HOWEVER SHE IS. Then, she worked to improve herself or the situation so she can move forward. I mean, why waste time on a pity party or judging yourself or taking a guilt trip when you could be improving yourself or the situation that has you down? Be solution oriented, not problem focused. I’ll admit I’ve struggled recently with this idea, and had one of those, “omg, this is not the woman I want to be” epiphanies this past weekend.
It wasn’t an earth-shattering realization, and I wasn’t thinking that way about my life in general, but my current state of health, fitness, and happiness. I know I haven’t given them enough attention or priority to in recent months, and that came back to slap me across the face… which I needed. Focusing on my work and starting a business meant that my commitment to exercise and eating clean weren’t a top priority as they once were. And I still place a lot of value in my physical appearance, because who doesn’t? But my clean eating standards and the time I used to have for working out seemed to be a little less worthwhile as I was staring at to-do lists on lists and dreaming of all the goals I want to achieve…
All it took for me to realize that my life balance was out of wack was a shitty training session. It knocked me on my ass and made me look critically at what my lifestyle is doing for me. I’m not going to sit here and judge myself for letting those fall by the wayside over the last few months, but I need to accept and acknowledge that has happened so I can be realistic and get back on track to work on being exactly who I want to be – the healthy, fit, toned purple haired betch I know I am.
I can’t kid myself and make excuses to avoid grocery shopping and the time to prep meals or work out. I will hate myself, and I already feel guilty for being lazy, and I don’t like feeling this way. So I’ll take the slightly boring and tedious route – back to the basics of eating clean, no processed bullshit or fast food/eating out, and get my sweat on daily. I want to feel good about myself and be proud of the person I am every day, not just when I look good or am complimented for my work. I want to treat myself right because my sense of self-worth and self-love when I do, and the happiness that stems from that, is more satisfying than any bite of food, compliment, or new pair of shoes will ever be.
I think people get stuck avoiding “exercise” because of the connotations of the word, and there is so much more than just the sweat and blood and tears involved in the activity. Forget about exercising. That shit is terrible.Remember: you are moving your body for the sole purpose of improving yourself – whether it be for the physical, mental, or emotional benefits. Do something fun, do something easy, do whatever the fuck you want that gets you moving every day. It doesn’t have to be the same, no one needs to know, you don’t need to seek validation for doing it. That comes within. If you are still motivated to do anything, be it eating better, working out more, or dressing a certain way, to please or satisfy someone else – you are doing it wrong and need to reflect on why you’re seeking validation anywhere other than from yourself. Looking better in your body won’t help your issues with that. Promise.
It’s easy to get down on yourself or how you look, make excuses for why (there are no legitimate ones), and then turn to emotional eating rather than exercise to make you feel better – ultimately making you look worse. What a vicious cycle. And why work out when you can eat? I mean, working out is painful, boring, or really amazing, if you want it to be. It will be whatever you think and make of it. Same for eating – foods can nourish you and fill you with the energy and brainpower to take on your day, or you can eat “something” (insert disgusting cheat food of choice here) that will taste good for five minutes but drain you of energy and leave you feeling like shit for five hours.
Feeling good, both physically and about your self (because you are putting in work and taking the time to treat yourself well – as you do with so many other people in various ways every day…) is at least as addictive as any kind of dessert. You just have to be willing to sample all the different desserts to see which kind you like the best! Running, lifting, Crossfit, pilates, barre, yoga, SoulCycle? There’s a whole buffet for working out your body to give you that nice booty and not a muffin top.
If you don’t know where to start… try the bunny hill before the mountain. Create a simple, small habit that you can actually see yourself enjoying. Example: I started stretching (as lame as it sounds) before I start getting ready for the day to ground and center myself with a few minutes of me time before the day gets crazy. I decide how I feel and what I’m going to accomplish that day – when I do this, I usually manage to do it all – because I’m treating myself right and getting properly set up for success, every damn day.
PS. While I’m waxing poetic about moving in the morning, let’s talk about alarms. Snooze is a gateway drug to failure. If you hit snooze, or set an alarm knowing that you will have no intention of getting up at said time, you are already setting yourself up for failure. Why even do that? Hitting snooze and then being angry for running late just tells me you lack self-respect to do what you say you’ll do. Be better.
If you snooze yourself into misery by “wanting to wake up slowly,” get one of those apps that tracks your sleep cycle and wakes you up at the optimal moment (you can choose the window of time). Then get the fuck out of bed, make it, wash your face, brush your teeth, don’t get on your phone – touch your toes, wiggle around, wake up your body and all of its power. Eat a real breakfast, get ready, and slay your day. Where does snooze fit into the equation of kicking ass? It doesn’t.
I talked about starting a fitness/health series for my YouTube channel yesterday and got a lot of great feedback… I just don’t want people to expect that by sharing my ideas, tips, tricks, or journey will be a magic ticket to yours getting better. I can’t tell you what to do or how to eat so you lose 10 lbs or feel happy with yourself as you are. YOU have to figure out what works for you and what you enjoy! No one is competing with you or judging what you choose to do.
I’m here to help, motivate, inspire, educate, whatever I can do to help anyone who is trying to help themselves – but there is no magic formula or easy way to become “the woman you want to be.” It takes commitment, dedication, passion, and the will to succeed even if there’s not a hint of hope on your horizon. You have to start where you are, with what you have, and create your own path. Being honest, open, accepting, and willing to work on yourself will always be well worth the effort. You’ll learn what it takes for you to become the kind of person you want to be – an empowered and independent woman you’re proud to see in the mirror… and no one will be able to take that from you.
I’ll be profiling Ariana Lallonde tomorrow, a former Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer and health & wellness expert who I had the opportunity to speak with at the #StartBetter event with Clinique & Allure Mag this weekend. Meeting her was amazing and I gained a ton of perspective learning about her career and life journey, which has certainly motivated me to get moving this week… Stay tuned for all of her pearls of wisdom and motivation tomorrow.
I’ll also announce the winner of my #StartBetter giveaway. Check out the prize details here and retweet this for your chance to win some goodies. Sorry this turned into such an epic ramble… Hope it makes sense and anyone who needs as a kick in the ass (like I did!) to get moving and on a better grind this week. Questions or topic ideas for my health & fitness series, please leave in a comment – I’d love to know how I can best help any and all of you. Happy Monday, beauties!